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Comfort food gives us all a lift thanks to the nostalgic flavors of our favorite foods from growing up. As our lifestyles become more hectic and stressful, it can be tempting to reach for our favorite comforts like chocolate chip cookies, pizza, or pasta more than we should. The problem with eating comfort food all the time is that these foods are often full of starchy carbs or sugar.
The good news is that it’s not that hard to give your favorite comfort foods a makeover. All you have to do is substitute a few of the key ingredients with healthier options, stay true to the distinct flavors of the dish, and voila! You can still give into your cravings without feeling guilty.
Here are a few common comfort foods and a great recipe for a great comfort food makeover.
Comfort Food: Chili Cheese Fries
Comfort Food Makeover: Sweet Potato Chili Fries
This sweet potato chili fries recipe from the popular paleo food blog Paleomg are high in protein and slow burning carbs. This is the perfect meal for dinner after a big training day. The chili topping is so full of flavor that the dish tastes like your favorite indulgent pub fare.
Comfort Food: Mac n’ Cheese
Comfort Food Makeover: Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Think mac n’ cheese has to be a starchy carb bomb? Think again. This recipe substitutes cauliflower for pasta. This dish is grain free, so it’s perfect for people who eat a low carb diet or gluten-free diet. It’s not low in fat, but if you aren’t watching your fat intake, this mac n’ cheese recipe is for you.
Comfort Food: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Comfort Food Makeover: Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Seriously, who doesn’t love raw chocolate chip cookie dough? Eating raw cookie dough made with the standard ingredients of flour, sugar, and raw eggs isn’t recommended (mostly thanks to the raw egg), but you can eat all the raw cookie dough you want with this comfort food makeover. It’s suitable for people who eat a paleo diet, a raw diet, or a vegan diet (if you sub maple syrup for the honey).
Comfort Food: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Comfort Food Makeover: Paleo Spaghetti and Meatball Bites
This is the most creative comfort food makeover that I have come across. Instead of a big old bowl of pasta, these are bite-sized alternatives. This recipe substitutes squash for the pasta. You’ll barely notice the difference as you dip your spaghetti bites into marinara sauce.
Comfort Food: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Comfort Food Makeover: Creamy Tomato Soup With Grain-Free Grilled Cheese
Try this creamy paleo tomato soup with grain-free coconut bread. The only thing that I suggest changing about this recipe is that the coconut bread is made into french toast by dipping it into eggs. I still have to have that cheese to make it close enough to the original recipe, so I suggest instead to skip the french toast instructions in this recipe and just make grilled cheese with the coconut bread.
Comfort food makes us happy, so why would we ever try to deny ourselves? Instead, give your favorite recipes a healthy makeover and you can still enjoy the food you know and love!
What are your favorite healthy comfort food recipes?
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